Texas Gov. calls on state employees to deny benefits to same-sex couples
June 26th, 2015
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (GOP) has issued a proclamation to state employees defending their right to deny state services to gay couples.
All state agency heads should ensure that no one acting on behalf of their agency takes any adverse action against any person, as defined in Chapter 311 of the Texas Government Code, on account of the person’s act or refusal to act that is substantially motivated by sincere religious belief. This order applies to any agency decision, including but not limited to granting or denying benefits, managing agency employees, entering or enforcing agency contracts, licensing and permitting decisions, or enforcing state laws and regulations.
In other words, if a state employee has a “sincere religious belief” that your marriage license should be run through the shredder, Abbott thinks that he should do so. If a County Clerk has a “sincere religious belief” that you should be tarred and feathered rather than be allowed to marry, so be it. And if the head of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts refuses to accept your jointly filed tax returns because he has a “sincere religious belief” that same-sex couples aren’t really married, well his rights trump yours.
Of course, this is nonsense.
Undoubtedly individuals in Texas will probably not have to issue licenses. And it will be a hassle. But if a Clerk’s office decides not to comply with federal law, I think that the Clerk will soon discover that their beliefs – or those of their employees – do not outweigh a citizen’s rights. Irrespective of Abbott’s blustering.
McKinney school district defends “Gay O.K.” t-shirts
June 9th, 2015
Last week we told you of school administrators at Faubian Middle School in McKinney, Texas who disciplined some students wearing “Gay O.K.” t-shirts and then blamed them for the resulting fracas. Now district officials have defended the girls’ right to stand up for fellow gay students. (Buzzfeed)
“We told the campus administration that they should not have asked the students to take off the shirts, or change shirts,” Cody Cunningham, the chief spokesman for McKinney Independent School District, told BuzzFeed News. “We told them that students have every right to wear the shirts.”
Also coming out are further details about the events leading up to the display of support.
The problem began in May, Heiman said, when a seventh grade girl came out as bisexual and a group of boys began harassing her.
“They kept saying rude things to her in the hallways. They would call her ‘dyke’ or ‘fag,’” Heiman said. Even after some of the girls asked the boys to stop, one boy persisted, she added.
When a friend approached the boy in the cafeteria at lunch and asked him to stop, the two took their disagreement to a vice principal, Robert Waite. Heiman said she watched the exchange, in which Waite did not take any action against the boy, but instead mocked the girl to another school staffer, reportedly saying, “This girl’s in charge of school bullying.”
Heiman said Waite made the girl who reported the bullying sit down.
The administrators at Faubian did not inform the district that there had been any bullying at the school. Now an investigation has been initiated.
Texas Governor does not call special session
June 8th, 2015
Texas Governor Greg Abbott will tell you that be absolutely supports traditional marriage and wants to protect that treasured definition. And so will every GOP legislator in that state.
But somehow the legislature managed to end the legislative session without passing any bills that would in any way hinder marriage equality coming to Texas after the Supreme Court rules later this month. And Abbott has now responded to demands that he call a special session for them to do so. (WOAI)
“I do not anticipate any special session,” he told News Radio 1200 WOAI. “They got their job done on time, and don’t require any overtime.”
A cynical soul might conclude that the Texas GOP passed exactly the number of bill protecting traditional marriage that they wanted to pass. None. Such a person might even think that the Texas GOP is far more concerned with the demands of the Texas business community, which has opposed such bills as bad for business, than they are the demands of the Texas Eagle Forum or Americans for Truth About Homosexuality.
Texas school administrators cause fracas, blame pro-gay students
June 4th, 2015
A Faubian Middle School in McKinney, Texas, a seventh grade student came out as gay and was subsequently bullied. Several girls in the school decided to take a stance in support of that student.
On the next-to-last day of school about fifteen students wore t-shirts blazed with the message: “Gay O.K.”. But this message was not acceptable to the administrators. (nbcdfw)
“We were doing perfectly fine until lunch,” said Sammy Heiman, a seventh grader who designed the shirts. “And then [the administration] called us all out, all the people wearing them, called us out of the cafeteria.”
And that’s when things got rowdy. The other students in the cafeteria saw what was going on and that the students were being told not to wear the shirts and started chanting “Gay O.K.” One student not wearing the shirt argued with an administrator and knocked a cell phone from their hand.
So, having caused a fracas by forcing the girls to change, the administrators are claiming that they banned the shirts only because they were disruptive.
“In this particular case, a verbal disruption occurred between a large number of students in the cafeteria as a result of the shirts,” said Cody Cunningham, spokesman for the McKinney Independent School District. “This was not a civil debate, but rather yelling and shouting, and [it] alarmed a large number of students.”
“While we respect student free speech, our primary obligation is to ensure a safe and productive learning environment for students in McKinney ISD,” Cunningham added.
See, your shirts caused a disruption when we took away your First Amendment rights.
And, in the worst possible reporting of an event ever, the local news is echoing the administration. “… they were not concerned about what that shirt said, just the results you saw there”.
Of course, there were no “results” until after the administrators called the girls out of the auditorium. So that’s simply a falsehood.
Texas legislature dances a little sidestep
June 2nd, 2015
Fellow Texans, I am proudly standing here to humbly see.
I assure you, and I mean it – Now, who says I don’t speak out as plain as day?
And, fellow Texans, I’m for progress and the flag – long may it fly.
I’m a poor boy, come to greatness. So, it follows that I cannot tell a lie.
Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don’t –
I’ve come and gone and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step,
Cut a little swathe and lead the people on.
The musical Best Little Whorehouse in Texas parodied the Texas style politician as a good ol’ country boy with the skill of bamboozling the public with words but never quite saying or doing anything concrete. And this past month, life has mirrored art.
For much of May, the legislature in Texas has been in a whirl of rhetoric about the Lone Star State’s autonomy, upstanding morals, and objection to them gays ruining the sanctity of marriage. No less than 23 bills were presented all designed to either hinder gay marriage, derail gay rights, or just insult gay people. But other than one bill, no legislation seemed to get passed.
First there was a big show of whether Republicans could rush through the pile of bills before the deadline or if Democrats could run out the clock before a bill could be passed that would block funds for the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And, whew, it was a squeaker but the clock ran out.
But boy-oh-boy did those Republicans take a stance after the fact. They issued a letter telling the public in no uncertain terms that they pledged to continue to support traditional marriage and the flag and apple pie. A strongly worded letter, mind you.
And there there was the scare that the Republicans in the Senate would revive that bill or some other bill to stick it to the gays. And, by golly, they found the perfect vehicle on which to attach an amendment protecting the sanctity of marriage: some House bill having to do with county administration.
But, darn it, it turns out to everyone’s surprise that the author of the bill in the House was a Democrat and a firm supporter of marriage equality. And he let it be known that he’d pull the bill if they did. So that just didn’t work out.
Well! Gosh! What a disappointment!
But let it be known that they did get one bill passed. And it was a real crowd-pleaser. Senate Bill 2065
A religious organization, an organization supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, an individual employed by a religious organization while acting in the scope of that employment, or a clergy or minister may not be required to solemnize any marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage if the action would cause the organization or individual to violate a sincerely held religious belief.
Whew, what a victory. Now pastors don’t have to conduct gay marriages. And if the First Amendment to the US Constitution is ever repealed, Texas will have this bill right here protecting pastors from conducting sacraments contrary to their faith.
Of course, it’s all just window dressing. Meaningless gestures designed to keep the anti-gay rabble happy.
For, as we now know, the Texas Republicans in the legislature never intended to pass anti-gay legislation. Because as much as they love to wave the Lone Star Flag and quote the Bible, the legislators in Texas don’t answer to the religious right. They have an entirely different constituency.
Mark McKinnon, chairman of the GOP group Texas Wins, has a piece today in Politico Magazine explaining how Big Business in Texas came down squarely on the side of their gay employees. And no one can run for office these days without either Big Business or Big Union money.
The Lone Star State just wrapped its legislative session, which included two “religious freedom” constitutional amendments. Learning from what happened in the above states, industry groups and major businesses went out pre-emptively — let me say that again: pre-emptively — before such bills made it too far in the Legislature. The conservative state chamber of commerce, the Texas Association of Business, took the lead.
The amendments “would devastate economic development, tourism and the convention business,” said Bill Hammond, TAB’s CEO. “One has to look no further than Indiana to realize what a detriment this would be, and how hard it would be to sell Texas to the rest of the country. The Super Bowl [in Houston in 2017], the Final Four, all those things would be at risk in Texas if this were to become part of our Constitution.”
More than 250 Texas companies — American Airlines, Dell, Texas Instruments, Dow Chemical, the Dallas Mavericks — went on record with a general pledge in support of treating gay and transgender Texans fairly and equally under the law — and that welcoming and inclusive communities are essential to their bottom line.
Both amendments in the Texas Legislature died a quick death.
But boy has it been fun watching them all dancing a little sidestep and all the activist, right and left, swaying along to the music.
Texas’ truly stupid anti-equality proposal
April 27th, 2015
Representative Cecil Bell Jr., one of Texas’ good ol’ boy Republicans, has a game plan as to how the Lone Star State is going to thwart the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States on same-sex marriage.
Passed by the House State Affairs committee on April 22, the bill would prohibit Texas from using state or local funds to license or recognize same-sex marriages. Even if a court issued “an order requiring the issuance or recognition of a same-sex marriage license,” the bill states, officials would be barred from spending any money to do so.
Now suppose that the state passes this bill and SCOTUS rules for equality, as expected. What would Bell’s bill do?
First, it would not keep things as usual in Texas. Or certainly not for long.
When confronted by an obligation to provide same-sex couples with equal access – but to do so without spending extra funds – I expect that clerks will respond differently. Some will laugh at Bell’s bill, noting that state legislation does not outrank the US Constitution.
Others, maybe most, will just shut down shop until the courts toss this nonsense. Yay, Bell, marriage for no one. That’ll show them.
And there will undoubtedly be some brave soul with little brains and lots of faith who will proudly wave their flag of bigotry and defy the courts. But this will be a violation of civil rights as determined by the US Supreme Court. Which means the active involvement of the Justice Department. And federal judges. And sanctions. And maybe even jail.
And sure Bell will “win” if winning means grandstanding, and “martyrs”, and causing a stink. And, yes, people will hate each other and dig in their heels, and life will be less comfortable for everyone.
But marriage equality is coming to Texas. And there is nothing that Cecil Bell Jr. can do to stop it.
Fifth Circuit looks promising
January 9th, 2015
Today the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing argument on three marriage equality cases, separately, one from each of Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. First in line was Robicheaux vs Caldwell, the case from Louisiana.
The Fifth Circuit panel consists of two Reagan appointees (Jerry Smith and Patrick Higginbotham) and an Obama appointee (James Graves). It was known, going in, that Smith was not sympathetic with the notion that gay people hold the same constitutional rights as heterosexuals and that Graves favored equality. The wild card was Higginbotham.
We cannot, of course, know the outcome until it is determined and announced. However observers are reporting good news from the Louisiana hearing. Higginbotham joined Graves in expressing skepticism towards the arguments presented by the state and those who were there are predicting victory.
UPDATE: the oral arguments have been made available here
Rick Perry: Ooops. I Did It Again.
June 20th, 2014
Rick Perry’s comments last week comparing gays and lesbians to alcoholics has elicited quite a few headslaps and groans across the political spectrum. Sane people see it as just another example of Texas-style ignorance and insanity, and even some Texas Republicans are wishing that he hadn’t opened his big mouth. And few are trying to step away from the recently-approved Texas GOP platform endorsing sexual orientation change therapy. All of this has threatened to derail that re-boot of the Republican Brand ahead of the 2014 and 2016 elections. Texas GOP chairman Steve Munisteri, in particular, sees the danger:
But he did address the inclusion of reparative therapy in the platform, saying he doesn’t believe you can convert a LGBT individual to a heterosexual by simply talking to them.
“And I just make the point for anybody that thinks that may be the possibility: Do they think they can take a straight person to a psychiatrist and turn them gay?” Munisteri said.
Munisteri said he’s not the only one who opposes this plank in the party’s platform.
“My emails and phone calls to the office are running overwhelmingly opposed to that plank in the platform,” Munisteri said.
Ministeri describes the parliamentary maneuver that allowed the platform to be approved with the conversion therapy plank in place and says that there is no way to tell if a majority of Republicans statewide actually support the conversion therapy plank.
Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Perry’s handlers in his totally-not-running-for-Presidential campaign have apparently had a sit-down with him and have gotten him to see that his remarks weren’t going to win him any votes:
I got asked about an issue, and instead of saying, ‘You know what, we need to be a really respectful and tolerant country, and get back to talking about, whether you’re gay or straight you need to be having a job, and those are the focuses I want to be involved with,’ instead of getting — which I did, I readily admit, I stepped right in it,” he said.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry Compares Gays To Alcoholics
June 12th, 2014
Texas Gov. Rick Perry was in San Francisco, totally not running for President (wink, wink!) at the Commonwealth Club. He was asked about the Texas Republican Party’s endorsement of ex-gay therapy, which California has banned for minors. (That law is currently being challenged in Federal court.)
In response to an audience question about it Wednesday night, Perry said he did not know whether the therapy worked. Commonwealth Club interviewer Greg Dalton then asked him whether he believes homosexuality is a disorder.
“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” Perry said. “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”
Meet the Guy Who Convinced the Texas GOP To Endorse Ex-Gay Therapy
June 12th, 2014
That’s Jeremy Joel, who Cathie Adams credits for the idea. Adams is President of the Texas Eagle Forum who spearheaded the effort to get the state Republican Party to endorse ex-gay therapy in its 2016 platform. Joel founded an ex-gay group called Joel 2:25 International, and Lone Star Q provides a roundup of his story:
In another post that includes the packet he sent to GOP delegates proposing the platform amendment, Joel discusses how he became an activist against bans on reparative therapy for minors like those that have passed California and New Jersey.
“Reparative Therapy and this type of ministry work played a significant role in saving my life and I have been blessed to help many others over the past four years,” Joel writes. “Recently though, this ministry work has been under attack across the country and in some states Republican legislators and Governors have been silent or complicit in passing these laws.”
According to an interview posted on YouTube, Joel lived an active gay life for about six years. He had two long-term relationships and attended a gay church but remained religiously conflicted and dissatisfied. In 2009, he sought treatment from California psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, a founder and former president of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).
Nicolisi referred Joel to an ex-gay retreat called Journey Into Manhood, which he says reduced his same-sex attraction by 50 percent in one weekend.
Joel claims that his group has 400 members in 37 countries thanks to Skype. He also told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram that he thinks his idea has been overly hyped by both sides. Nevertheless, he’s happy with the platform plank as it stands:
Jeremy said the Republican platform amendment was much like the original version he took to Cathie Adams, president of Texas Eagle Forum.
The final version characterizes the therapy as “reparative” for patients “seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access.”
Jeremy said he is also glad that Republicans deleted other old platform language claiming that homosexuality “tears at the fabric of society” and blaming gays and lesbians for a “breakdown of the family.”
“We should never portray a hostile message about dividing people,” he said.
Texas GOP Approves Platform Supporting Ex-Gay Therapy
June 9th, 2014
About 10,000 Texas Republicans wrapped up their annual convention in Fort Worth this weekend to approve a new platform for the 2016 elections. Things looked promising at first, when the Dallas Voice reported that the party had stripped a statement from their proposed platform proclaiming: “We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.”
Whatever good news that represented evaporated when a new plank on homosexuality surfaced:
Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin.
Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.
The Texas Republican Party approved that platform over the weekend.
The enshrinement of ex-gay therapy into the official agenda of the Texas Republican Party goes against the recommendations of every legitimate mental and medical health professional organization in America, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the American School Counselors Association.
The platform also opposes same-sex marriage, as well as “the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married.”
Texas GOP Convention Denies Log Cabin Request for Booth
May 30th, 2014
Yesterday, the Log Cabin Republicans announced that their request for a booth at the annual convention in Fort Worth had been denied by the state Republican Party:
“Overall, Log Cabin Republicans of Texas has found incredible support within the Republican party — Texans, like the rest of the country, are evolving on LGBT rights issues,” said Log Cabin Republicans of Texas Chairman Jeffrey Davis. “The Republican Party of Texas has even welcomed many of our members as delegates to the Texas State Republican Convention. However, the party has denied our several attempts to host a booth in the convention exhibit hall, citing archaic language in the party platform to support their actions.”
That “archaic language” is not so archaic, coming from page 8 of the 2012 Texas Republican Party platform where over 100 colorful words describe the party’s position on “homosexuals” (the position against human trafficking, on the same page, takes only 12 words):
Human Trafficking ― The Republican Party of Texas adamantly opposes any form of human trafficking.
Homosexuality ― We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.
The decision, unusual for a state party, is, according to this source, allowed because of a 1997 ruling by then-Texas-Supreme-Court-Justice and now-Texas-gubernatorial-candidate Greg Abbott who
ruled on the case of the Republican Party of Texas vs. Dietz, which was a suit brought by the Republican Party against a lower court judge who ruled the Party had to provide the Log Cabin Republicans with a convention booth. Abbott ruled– relying on a muddled conflation of Texas state and US constitutional law– the Party could legally bar the group from its convention because the Texas Bill of Rights only applies to government and the Party’s actions did not constitute state action.
Gregory T. Angelo, head of the National Log Cabin Republicans, has condemned both the decision and the language in the state party platform.
And Texas falls
February 26th, 2014
A federal judge in San Antonio ruled Wednesday that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutionally deprives some citizens of due process and equal protection under the law by stigmatizing their relationships and treating them differently from opposite-sex couples.
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia cited recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings as having trumped Texas’ moves to ban gay marriage.
“Today’s court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent,” he said in his order. “Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our U.S. Constitution.”
The decision is on hold pending appeal at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Garcia is a former Democratic Texas State Representative from San Antonio. He was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton.
This should all prove to be interesting. Texas has more than it’s fair share of those opposed to treating their neighbor like themselves and Texan’s are unusually willing to let their biases and bigotries be known.
Congressman Randy Weber proposes DOMA redux
January 10th, 2014
Oh, in addition to his day job as an air conditioner repairman, he also was involved in local Republican committees and on the city counsel of Pearland, Texas. And that was all before being elected to the Texas House of Representatives, where he served for four years.
Rand Paul decided to run for Senate Ron Paul decided to retire, Weber won the Republican Party primary for Paul’s seat – after a run-off election. And while Massachusetts’ Mitt Romney did do a bit better than Weeber in his home district, he was nevertheless elected to represent Texas’ 14th Congressional District.
Now, he’s only been in office for a year so he hasn’t really had much time to find the right idea, the vehicle which will define him as a statesman.
He has written one resolution, which would “Expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the government’s scientific and technical analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline have repeatedly affirmed its environmental soundness and safety”. But that resolution is currently langering in the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, where Wever is a committee member. And that can’t feel good.
And he’s helped 415 Texans through casework and guided 140 families on US Capitol tours. But doesn’t get you headlines.
However, Roddy Wegle has finally found his issue. He has finally found that one position on which he can get in on the ground floor and make a name for himself.
Werber has now sponsored HR 3829: the State Marriage Defense Act of 2014.
And it’s a real doozy. Very timely. And oh so popular among those whom Weber find a common cause.
Though the text of the bill is not yet available, what it would do is require that the Federal Government change the criteria for recognition of same-sex marriages from whether they were legally licensed, performed, and recorded and instead determine Federal recognition on where the couple lived at the moment. Weger’s bill would have the Feds only recognize a marriage if the state of residency recognized the marriage, thus allowing one state to not only invalidate another state’s contracts, but to force the Federal Government to do so as well.
Now this might be a bit tricky. A couple that moved often might find themselves to be married, unmarried, married, single, civil unioned, or completely confused. Move to New York and you’re married. Move to Nevada and you file state taxes jointly but Federal taxes as single. Move to Texas and hope to God that you don’t live near Weber.
But Ronnie Webbe now has gotten some attention. The Family Research Counsel has endorsed his bill, as has the National Organization for Marriage.
And he has co-sponsors; 27 of them (all Republicans). And while many are fellow Texans with whom you may not be familiar, he’s got some big names on his bill including Joe Pitts, Doug LaMalfa, Louie Gohmert, and even Michele Bachmann, whom we all know so well.
But, alas, it looks as though he might not have been as clever as he hoped. Because this move, as timely and hot-button as he might hope, as joyously received by the stalwart defenders of “the family”, still didn’t get his name into the papers.
Oh sure, the gay blog sites took notice. And the far right disseminators of viewpoint and opinion. But otherwise nothing.
Well, okay, not exactly nothing. It is true that the Sacramento Bee did make available on their website the press release which was issued by the FRC, but otherwise the media attention was the same as if Woober farted in the wind.
No New York Times., No Chicago Tribune. No Duluth News Tribune. Not even the wacky, Moony-owned, far right, anti-gay Washington Times ran a story.
And, sadly for Weder, it’s not likely to get better. While the good ol’ boys at the local Elks Lodge may all think his proposal is a fine idea, the Republican Party leadership will bury this dog. They know that the ship has sailed and that equality is the future and they want nothing more than to have the issue behind them. Preferable before 2016 so they can blame President Obama and the Supreme Court and move on to other issues.
Alas, poor Ricky Weevil. Your second try at establishing your legacy doesn’t seem to be panning out so well. But take heart, you have another year. Maybe you’ll find a way to make everyone remember your name.
Defense Secretary Orders State National Guards To Treat Gay Couples Equally
November 1st, 2013
Since the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act last June, the Defense Department has been rushing to implement policies designed to treat legally wedded same-sex couples equally with married couples generally. But several states have refused to issue Defense Department ID cards to same-sex spouses of National Guard members. Those states include Indiana, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in a speech to the Anti-Defamation League, has announced that he is putting a stop to such discriminatory practices:
“Today, I directed the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Frank Grass, to take immediate action to remedy this situation. At my direction, he will meet with the Adjutants General from the states where these ID cards are being denied. The Adjutants General will be expected to comply with both lawful direction and DoD policy, in line with the practices of 45 other states and jurisdictions.”
A senior defense official told the Washington Blade that the Pentagon has some critical leverage to deploy against recalcitrant states:
“These are federal ID cards paid for with federal funding to provide federally mandated benefits,” the official said. “I’m not going to speculate on our legal options.”